Pantone’s Color of the Year 2024: Peach Fuzz Creating Soothing Healthcare Environments
Nature’s ever-changing color palette lends itself to limitless choices when it comes to choosing colors that support healing in healthcare environments.
Hospitals, medical clinics, and design teams spend a lot of time choosing colors that will provide benefits to their patients and staff.
“Colors have the ability to influence our emotions, mood and behavior. It has been scientifically proven that different colors have psychological and physiological effects on people. Therefore, selecting the right colors in hospital environments can have a significant impact on the experience of patients, medical staff and visitors” (Tedisel Medical).
And that’s a big part of the reason so many people in the healthcare design industry are paying attention as Pantone’s Color of the Year 2024: Peach Fuzz 13-1023 is announced. It’s important to consider the psychological and emotional effects of color to make sure they align with the needs of the spaces where they’re used.
So more than just seeing the color that’s been chosen for the coveted spot, designers and facility planners are eagerly exploring the inspiration behind Pantone’s Color of the Year: Peach Fuzz.
Color can be used to create a well-designed, positive environment capable of contributing to the overall healing process. The nurturing tones of Pantone’s Color of the Year 2024: Peach Fuzz, support healing with their warm and comforting qualities.
In healthcare settings, where patients often feel vulnerable and anxious, using warm colors like Pantone’s Color of the Year: Peach Fuzz can lead to a more inviting and reassuring atmosphere. Peach is known as an uplifting color that evokes positive emotions.
Peach “encourages conversation while making people feel at ease” (Haynes, “Our Favorite Peach Paint Colors for Interiors.” Southern Living, 2021).
Peach can also be easily combined with other colors to create soothing and harmonious color schemes. Its versatility allows designers to incorporate it into various design elements, such as artwork, fabrics, furniture, and décor.
The Vetter Senior Living Facility pictured above, illustrates how warm shades of orange, peach, and beige were used to create a peaceful setting for residents and staff.
In the research article, “The Role of Color in Healthcare Environments, Emergent Bodies of Evidence-based Design Approach,” authors Ghamai and Amor describe the power color choices can have in hospitals:
“. . . color impacts healthcare outcomes by reducing medical errors, promoting the sense of well-being, reducing stress, improving patients’ sleep, reducing length of stay, reducing spatial disorientation, increasing patient satisfaction, and increasing staff morale and productivity” (2016).
Pantone’s Color of the Year 2024: Peach Fuzz “. . . echoes our innate yearning for closeness and connection,” according to Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director, Pantone Color Institute™.
That type of connection is something that’s been shown to improve outcomes for patients in healthcare environments by strengthening the patient/doctor relationship, enhancing the trust patients feel towards their care providers, and helping patients feel more relaxed overall.
Eiseman goes on to describe Peach Fuzz as, “. . . a color radiant with warmth and modern elegance. A shade that resonates with compassion, offers a tactile embrace, and effortlessly bridges the youthful with the timeless.”
UNMC’s Psychiatric Emergency Services Facility in Omaha, NE chose one of Kurt’s Midwest native grasses photographs featuring peach hues for a soothing mural that spans 326 inches down a corridor serving as an intake and seating area for patients.
UNMC was able to create a calm, compassionate space away from their main emergency department and used soothing shades of peach and blue to do it.
In healthcare design, it’s important to move away from clinical and sterile designs. Safety and health regulations should never be overlooked, but considering the way a space feels to anxious patients and overworked staff is a big part of designing an environment that improves outcomes.
We think Pantone’s Color of the Year 2024: Peach Fuzz is a good choice for creating soothing environments for patients and staff. But no matter what you think of Peach Fuzz, it’s just one color in an endless expanse of color choices within nature’s vast palette.
More than anything, it’s important to look to nature (and all the research that supports its healing power) when choosing design elements, images, and colors that can make the environment itself part of the care team.